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Huawei has become the top-selling smartphone brand for the first time

The Chinese smartphone company has even overtaken Samsung.

huawei signage
Image: CircleID

It is no secret that Huawei’s relationship with the US isn’t a good one. The brand has now been termed a “national security threat” by the FCC. As they regulate communications across the US, this has undoubtedly placed a huge dent in Huawei’s market share in the States and beyond. Or, so you’d think.

Why? Well, Huawei has just become the No.1 smartphone brand IN THE WORLD. Yes, you heard right. For the first time ever, the Chinese brand has taken the top spot in global smartphone sales.

It’s all in the data

graph showing Huawei smartphone sales VS samsung

Image: Canalys

So, how do we know all this? Because a report from Canadian market analysts, Canalys, says so, that’s why. They sold more smartphones in 2020’s second quarter than any other smartphone brand in the world. This is also the first time in nine years that we have seen the brand outstrip Apple and Samsung. Huawei shifted just under 56 million units in quarter two. The Chinese electronics brand sold 2.1 million more handsets than Samsung (53.7m).

This is the kind of phenomenon that wouldn’t have crossed anyone’s mind back in 2019. As Ben Stanton, a Senior Analyst for Canalys says, “This is a remarkable result that few people would have predicted a year ago. If it wasn’t for COVID-19, it wouldn’t have happened.

Huawei has taken full advantage of the Chinese economic recovery to reignite its smartphone business. Samsung has a very small presence in China, with less than 1% market share, and has seen its core markets, such as Brazil, India, the United States, and Europe, ravaged by outbreaks and subsequent lockdowns.”

So, it’s all down to COVID-19?

covid-19 and a person wearing a mask

Image: Tumisu from Pixabay

That’s right, COVID-19 certainly seems to be the virus to beat, as it is even capable of massaging trading figures! Well, not quite, but the effects of the COVID pandemic have been felt across the entire planet. Said effects are also showing little sign of letting up. Some countries or continents have been slow to respond to the pandemic. With this in mind, we have seen a catastrophic effect on businesses around the world.

China was quick to react to the pandemic, of that there is no doubt. It was this that allowed their economy to recover relatively quickly, while others flailed around in COVID soup, gasping for air. So, it makes sense that Huawei could start producing more handsets.

They have mainly sold these handsets in their native China, according to Stanton, where Samsung has less than 1% market share. This, compared to Huawei’s 70%. He goes on to add that Samsung’s main user base, namely the US, Europe, India, and Brazil, have all been subject to stringent lockdown restrictions, limiting purchases.

What next?

Well, according to Canalys’ Mo Jia—an analyst with the firm—it won’t be a sustainable number-one spot. Despite being an opportunity for Huawei to flex its commercial muscle, Jia says “…it will be hard for Huawei to maintain its lead in the long term. Its major channel partners in key regions, such as Europe, are increasingly wary of ranging Huawei devices, taking on fewer models, and bringing in new brands to reduce risk. Strength in China alone will not be enough to sustain Huawei at the top once the global economy starts to recover.”

For now, though, Huawei will be taking pride in its newfound pole-position. This should allow it to lure in more investment, as well as demonstrating their strength to the loyal customers in China. It won’t last forever. But, we continue to see the coronavirus delaying all manner of things. So, Huawei’s top spot may last longer than you think.

What do you think? Surprised to see Huawei snagging that number one spot? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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